Technological watch

Coca-Cola extends support to Dutch PET recycling business

The Coca-Cola Co. has extended a loan to the Dutch company Ioniqa Technologies, which it says has “promising” prospects in recycling technologies.

The investment, Coca-Cola announced 13 Dec, is intended to accelerate the scale-up of Ioniqa’s PET recycling process.

The Eindhoven-based company has developed a proprietary technology that is able to convert hard to recycle PET-containing waste like coloured bottles to purified polymer building blocks that can be later re-formed into high quality PET. 

The company is now building a 10-kilotonne-per-annum industrial plant in the Netherlands, scheduled for commissioning in 2019.

The agreement is designed to help the development and deployment of high-grade recycled content PET for use in Coca-Cola bottles, the beverage company noted. 

Coca-Cola said the investment supported its global vision to work toward a “world without waste”, which includes a goal to create packaging made of at least 50% recycled material by 2030.

“Our investment in new and pioneering recycling technologies is an opportunity for significant movement toward closing the loop and creating a circular economy for PET,” said Robert Long, chief innovation officer, The Coca-Cola Co.

He went on to say that his company planned to continue investment in “the right partnerships and initiatives” to support its vision.

According to Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO of Ioniqa, the technology allows for “significant recovery and reuse” of plastic materials that might otherwise not be recycled. In addition to that the technology delivers food grade PET.

Ioniqa launched the construction of its new factory at Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen in September. The plant is set for start-up in the first half of 2019.

The Dutch company has been working on its proprietary technology since 2011 and has been carrying out tests in its demonstration plant in Rotterdam for the past two years.

As the process is a circular one, Ioniqa claims that no oil is needed to produce new PET materials.

“PET waste is our raw material. With Ioniqa’s process PET products, made from PET waste, are identical to those made from oil, with the same quality, food safety and competitive prices,” Hooghoudt said in a statement in September.

Ioniqa announced last April that it had entered into a partnership with Unilever and PET packaging market leader Indorama to pioneer its technology.

According to Hooghoudt, both the supply of the PET feedstock as well as the off-take of the materials have already been guaranteed for the industrial-scale plant.

Publication date: 14/12/2018

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Last update: 2019-10-22